I have been in the bar business for over fifteen years. And I drink a lot of wine. Like, a lot of it.
That being said, I actually know very little about wine. Thankfully, there are these professionals called sommeliers who do all the hard work for us. Just like a chef needs his knives, it is imperative that a sommelier owns a high-quality, functional corkscrew.
Want the best right now? I like the Gitko Waiter’s Corkscrew
To keep us wine drinkers happy, our wine professional needs the best corkscrew out there to keep popping out corks.
What is a sommelier?
Personally, the only difference I can find between wines is whether it’s red or it’s white. And don’t tell anyone, but I actually prefer my wine in a rocks glass (my arms start flailing after I’ve had a few – it’s not safe for stemware. Find some sturdy glasses here, though). But my love for wine coupled with my ignorance of the alcoholic grape juice does not mean there isn’t hope for me yet. There are sommeliers out there, eager to guide my palate.
Anyone who has eaten at a fancy restaurant or done any sort of wine tour has had contact with a “sommelier.” This is the fancy French word for a wine expert; the most trained and knowledgeable wine professional that exist. They are the ‘chefs’ of the wine world.
There are several roles of the sommelier. Most obvious to the consumer is their presence on the dining room floor, educating guests and assisting them with their pairings. A sommelier is able to put into layman’s terms the otherwise unintelligible jargon on a wine menu for those who just don’t understand what “glitteringly pure aromas of lime zest, vanilla and touch of spice” really means. Do you like to make your own homemade wine? Find the best corks to keep it fresh here.
Behind the scenes, a sommelier may be required to create menus and assist in the general managemer. Another perk of the job may be to travel to different parts of the world, learning about different vineyards and purchasing interesting wines.
Who hasn’t arrived to an outdoor BBQ with a bottle of wine only to realize no one has a corkscrew? Sure enough, you can Google, “ways to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew” and get results like hitting it with a shoe, the old machete trick, push a pen into the cork, etc. These tricks technically will work, but not very efficiently! The corkscrew is to a sommelier as a hammer is to a carpenter. It is the essential tool for opening a bottle of wine. You won’t find a sommelier at a party, out to dinner, or at the movies without one in their purse or back pocket.
With so many options, gimmicks and gadgets out there, what is it that a sommelier looks for in a good corkscrew? First of all, as a sommelier spends much of his time on the dining room floor, the wine key needs to fit inside a pocket comfortably, have an ergonomic design for ease of use and the ability to smoothly, quickly and accurately pull the cork out without breaking it (sommeliers will look for the double hinge which allows a two-part cork removal).
The tool should also be sturdy and durable for extensive use. Basically, the good old fashioned, classic looking stainless steel wine key continues to be the favorite of sommeliers and wait staff. Find other awesome wine keys here. The details vary slightly, so let’s take a look at some of the best available products.
Waiter’s Friend Wine Key
The Waiter’s Friend Wine Key is your basic, stainless steel option. This product has the hinge and foil cutter. The entire unit, including the corkscrew itself, is stainless steel. It’s everything you really need on the dining room floor. See it listed here at Amazon.
This is a very durable and economical option which is easily replaced if lost or stolen. This is also a great gift idea for someone with a home bar, as it looks classy and professional. Given the economical price, you could even have a few of these on-hand in the event you show up to the party and you need to save the day.
GITKO Waiter’s Corkscrew
GITKO offers the Waiter’s Corkscrew. This is another product with great value for your money. The rosewood handle gives the product a little more flair, while offering all of the benefits of the basic stainless steel model. It gives a sommelier a touch more class while offering the necessary functionality and durability. Sound like something you need? Find it here.
AVINA Waiter Corkscrew Wine Opener
Another great product is the AVINA Waiter Corkscrew Wine Opener. At 4.7 oz., this one is a monster and is definitely the choice for durability. The extra weight gives more leverage when pulling out the cork, allowing for a faster, more seamless service. Breaking the cork is next to impossible – there will be no embarrassing table side mistakes with the AVINA. This company guarantees this product for life, so unless you lose it, you will not have a need to replace it. Find this product here at Amazon.
Whether a wine lover or professional sommelier, when it comes to corkscrews, less is more. Stick to the basics. Choose a good, sturdy product and it should make your life as a wine drinker happy and hassle free.